This is just a quick update for Dessert #6 - MySql & UTF-8. I've been using the approach outlined in that old post pretty much until today, when I realized that it has two major flaws: It does not work when using multiple db connections (i.e. using load balancing or connecting to a 3rd party db), and it might interfere with other databases that don't need this utf8 thing to be set.
He includes some code (a quick 13 liner) to take care of this small issue. Check out the comments on the post for an even easier way too.